Selecting the name of a company is an important step in the process of planning.
When forming a company it is important to select a name that reflects the identity of your brand and properly register it so the company is protected in the long term. You should also think about whether you’re ready for the Internet—is the domain name available?
Here are some tips to help you select, register and protect the name of your business.
Factors to Consider When Naming Your Business
Many businesses start out as individual operations or small companies. In these cases, it is easy to give in to the temptation to put your own name on the business. While there is nothing wrong with this, it makes it difficult to present a professional image and build brand awareness.
Consider these points when choosing a name:
- What will your name look like on the web, as part of a logo, or on social media sites?
- Does it evoke connotations?
- Is it too corporate or not corporate enough?
- Does it reflect the philosophy and culture of your business?
- Will it appeal to your market?
- Is it unique? Choose a name that others have not claimed as their own, online or offline. A quick search on the Internet that includes purchased domains name will alert on any existing website bearing the same name.
A brand violation may involve a high cost to your business. Before selecting a name, use the tool to search for brands listed in the Intellectual Property Office with a similar name or variation of it that is already trademarked.
If You Intend to Incorporate
You’ll need to communicate with Companies House to check if the business name you want has been claimed and is in use. If you find an address under your proposed business name, you can still use it, provided that your business and existing business offer different goods and services and are located in different regions.
Choose a Name That is Internet Ready
To claim your own web site address or URL, the name of your business must be available. It should also be rich in keywords that reflect what your business does. To find out if your business name has already been claimed online, do some simple research on the Internet.
The name of your business is the first impression the public has of your company. Therefore, it is one of the most important factors in reflecting a good corporate image. Involve your family, friends, and partners in a brainstorming session and follow these rules to find your ideal name.
The ideal name accompanies the strategy of the company.
A good name enhances the strategy and vision of the company. Define what you want to communicate. Be clear about the segment of the population to which you are marketing. Describe the type of business, what makes you different from the competition, your strengths, and how you want to remember your customers.
The ideal name is informative.
Include information about your business activity in the name. This makes it easier for potential customers to find your business in directories and on the Internet.
Some resources you can use are:
Your name, the name of the founders and partners of the company. Examples: Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald’s, Marriott, Ford, Wendy’s, etc.
- Your name, or the name of the founders and partners of the company
- Walt Disney, Hewlett-Packard, McDonald’s, Marriott, Ford, Wendy’s
- The geographical origin of the company
- Bank of America, Telmex, Texas Instruments, British Airways, etc.
- The product or service your business offers reference
- General Electric, Pizza Hut, Toys R Us, Facebook
- A concept that means more than a product or associated words that reflect the quality, price, or benefits
- Intel (Integrated Electronics), 3M’s (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company), Payless ShoeSource (economic shoes), Yellow Pages (directory)
- Modern or creative term that stands the passage of time and reflects the creation of your own brand.
- Yahoo!, Google, Starbucks, etc.
The ideal name is easy to remember.
A successful name has to be memorable, easy to pronounce, and understandable. Your potential customers must be able to remember the name of your business. It should be short, simple, easy to spell, and intuitively understood in several languages.
The ideal name is accepted in various cultures.
One aspect to consider is the meaning of the name in other cultures and other languages. If the name does not sound strange, do your search in Google to find meanings in different cultures. Famous examples are the Mitsubishi Montero, Nissan Moco, Volkswagen Jetta, or the Mazda Laputa
The ideal name is original.
Your name must be different. It prevents confusion with other businesses with similar names. Make a list of possible names and test them.
The ideal name conveys a positive image.
All concepts that are associated with the name and image must be positive. Choose words that have positive connotations for people and make sure these connotations combine strength with confidence.
The ideal name is available.
Before finally choosing a name, check that there is no other company already using it to avoid future legal problems and a lot of money. For example, between 1978 and 2007, Apple, Inc. and Apple Records were in a costly legal battle that accused Apple, Inc. of meddling in the music market by playing music files on their computers, creating the iPod, and distributing music via iTunes. Finally, the parties agreed to keep their brands, and the Beatles’ music is now distributed by iTunes.
In addition to registering at Companies House, you must register the corresponding domain on the Internet. Ideally, it is the same name as the company, but in some cases it may be a little different, especially if the company name is long.
Although the name is something very important, is not everything. Names are mainly used to establish positioning. A good name does not guarantee a successful brand image. That is determined by the work put forth and the company’s strategy.